A study was published in PLOS ONE a couple months ago that showed the rates of harassment and abuse of scientific trainees during field work. While reading Margaret Hardy's statement on what we can do about this, I was struck by a paper figure that summarized the results.

FIGURE 3: Visual representation of respondents to the survey, their experiences, and who were aware of, made use of, and were satisfied by mechanisms to report unwanted physical contact.


All those dots are depressing. It's disgusting so many women and men receive inappropriate comments, and that some also experience assault. And it's an absolute fucking shame that so many don't know about the options for reporting their assaults, and of those who do, many are unhappy with the results.

As a scientist-in-training and a woman, I am angry, and I know I should speak out and help add my voice to make sure changes are made. I am also scared of the ramifications of doing so since I am at the bottom of the power totem pole. The advice is often to wait until you're in a position of power before you go about trying to make change. But when the system is still built to be stacked against me being able to rise to the top ranks because of my gender? That advice just feels pretty disheartening.